The completion date for the 1500MW Nathpa Jhakri hydro power project in India, which is being constructed by the Nathpa Jhakri Power Corporation (NJPC), is being re-scheduled because of damage caused to the project by heavy rain and floods during the middle of 2000.

AK Gupta, chairman and managing director of NJPC, told IWP&DC that while schedules for various activities were being re-worked, the completion of the project may now be delayed by another two years until 2003.

Nathpa Jhakri is a run-of-river scheme which is located on the Satluj river in Himachal Pradesh. It received approval in April 1989 and work commenced on the US$1.6B project shortly after.

However, the work has already been delayed by five years due to a variety of reasons, including two flash-floods which washed away parts of the construction work, machinery and access roads.

The project is being financed by several organisations. The World Bank is providing loans of US$437M, the Domestic Power Finance Corporation loans of US$239M, and US$70M is coming from Germany’s KfW. Loans amounting to about US$175M have been secured from European banks and financial institutions.

…As Casecnan pushes back completion date

A geological fault close to the partially completed vertical surge shaft of the 150MW Casecnan multi-purpose project on Luzon island in the Philippines, has caused the shaft to collapse, according to Standard & Poor’s (S&P) credit rating agency.

The collapse, which occurred in December 2000 and was reported by the project developer CE Casecnan Water and Energy, will delay start-up by another five months to 31 August 2001. The project was originally scheduled to be completed by 17 August 2000, but was first delayed in July 2000 until 31 March 2001. That delay was also due to tunnelling problems through geologically difficult terrain.

This time the project’s EPC contractor, a joint venture between Co-operativa Muratori e Cementisti di Ravenna and Impresa Pizzarotti & C Spa (CMC), have elected to excavate a new 140m vertical shaft and associated 550m tunnel. Repairing the original shaft has been deemed impractical.

CMC assumed full construction risk under a fixed price, turnkey, date certain contract at the time of the first delay. However MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, the project’s main owner, has on this occasion provided a further US$1.6M to cover debt service payments and construction and start-up costs until 1 September 2001. The independent project engineer, Stone & Webster Consultants, agrees that the revised construction schedule and budget will allow the project to be completed by 31 August 2001.

Project delays also required CMC to retain SCL Engineering & Inspection beyond its original contract date last year, in order to mothball the project’s two 90MW generators they had installed.